Lt. Governor Manoj Sinha has called for novel and efficient measures for conservation of the iconic Dal and Wullar Lakes in Kashmir and checking release of sewage into these lakes. He also stressed for preserving other water-bodies that were vanishing due to illegal constructions.
Chairing a high level meeting in Srinagar on measures to restore the eco-system of the Dal, Sinha stressed that effective solid waste management shall be put in place not only for houseboats but for the whole Srinagar city for the holistic conservation of Dal lake. He called for zero release of sewage waste of household and commercial establishments into the Dal lake. He also stressed upon similar efforts for Wular lake and Jhelum river since these are interconnected.
The meeting was attended by members of the Committee of Experts (CoE) including former MD, Delhi Metro Rail Corporation & Consultant to the CoE, Dr. E Sreedharan; Member Coordinator, CoE& Former Additional Chief Secretary, Government of Kerala, Dr. Nivedita P Haran; MD Delhi Metro Rail Corporation Ltd, Dr Mangu Singh; Advocate and environmentalist MC Mehta and other senior officers, through virtual mode.
The Lt Governor welcomed the suggestions and recommendations made by the CoE and said that all the vital inputs will play an imperative role in framing future action plan for the restoration of the lake. The CoE briefed the Lt Governor about major steps required for safeguarding and conservation of Dal lake.
A threadbare discussion was held on important issues like preventing sewage waste flowing into the lake, bio-digesters for all houseboats, demarcation of the lake’s boundary, empowering lakes authority, putting a check on encroachment and its removal, sewage treatment plant for houseboats, rehabilitation, extending all the requisite facilities to tourists etc.
The Lt Governor laid special emphasis on formulating long term and short-term solutions and said that these solutions should go side by side for their effective implementation.
Preservation of the unique biodiversity of Dal lake is the topmost priority of the Prime Minister and the UT Government is also committed to provide all the necessary support for restoration of the ecosystem of the lake, he added.
He said implementation of all recommendations should be realistic and thrust shall be given on public-private participation. From project formation to implementation, all the authorities involved in protection of Dal Lake to work in convergence mode for better coordination and shall be empowered for effective administration, he added.
In order to achieve results on the ground, there is a need to put rigorous efforts and fix responsibility for clearing the water bodies from encroachment and securing the banks of the lakes, besides ensuring that no illegal construction shall take place along the periphery and catchment areas of these water bodies, the Lt Governor maintained.
He further emphasized on carrying out the work on restoration, maintenance and preservation and other ancillary issues of the Dal Lake in consonance with the High Court directions and taking all the ecological factors into consideration.